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Analysis of Art Spiegelman´s Novel: Maus

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“The world. The world is not interested in us. Today everything is possible, even the crematoria…” - Elie Wiesel

The graphic novel “Maus” is one Holocaust survivor’s tale, Vladek Spiegelman. Vladek lived through the Holocaust and along the way lost most if not all of his family. Art arrived at his fathers’ home to capture the story. Within the novel you bare witness to this very awkward father son relationship, you see how one managed to escape death when it is the only option, and the lasting impact a traumatic experience such as the Holocaust can have on future relationships.

Entering into the Holocaust Vladek and Anja had a son, Richieu, who was ultimately taken from and murdered. After the Holocaust they managed to conceive another child, Artie. The second generation children were miracles for those who had survived and was a sign that they had won. But in Vladeks’ eyes Artie was the son he had lost. Artie started his journey with the hopes of bonding with his father. Surviving such an experience made Vladek as well as his mother want to instill his heritage in Artie and made them overprotective of him. Doing so may have pushed Artie away. In the beginning of the story we see that Vladek thinks less of Artie because he “wastes” his time with drawing instead of something bringing in money. The problem with Vladek is that he does not understand that he and Artie are from different times and places. Artie is living in a new age and hadn’t experienced the same troubles he has. The trouble with Artie is that he does not understand what his father went through and the affects it had on him. So they end up constantly arguing. The struggles with this relationship is shown when Vladek faked a heart attack in or...

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...a good period in time. When Anja was alive they had money and an overall good life so they did not need to worry about not wasting and penny pinching. But by losing all money and control do to the Holocaust, Vladek feels the need to tell Mala what needs to go on in the home to save a buck or how to do things.

Vladek’s survival was not only a blessing it was also a curse. Although he survived the Holocaust, He never mentally left it. He felt guilty for surviving while so many others did not, he had this lingering guilt over the loss of his son and wife. The issues led to all the problems he faced in is current relationships. With Artie and Mala. Even though there was no intention of, Vladek unknowingly help the people in his life to standards they could not manage. By allowing the Holocaust to control his life how could he ever escape his past?
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